Insightful Use of Technology

Happy International Women’s Day!

Congratulations to the London agency WCRS who developed a pretty brilliant campaign for client Women’s Aid, designed to raise awareness about men’s abuse of intimate partners (aka domestic violence) and drive donations to the cause.

The campaign is brilliant, I think, because it begins with a real insight about how we generally ignore the reality of men’s abuse against intimate partners and utilizes technology to demonstrate in real time, and almost “real life” what happens when we ignore abuse, and what can happen when we actually confront it.

“If you see it, you can change it.”

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Using facial recognition technology, the digital billboards of  a women’s bruised and beaten face show her bruises healing as passerby look at the billboard. The more people look, the more quickly the bruises heal. At the bottom of the billboard, those who are looking at the billboard will see images of themselves looking. Powerful incentive.

And then, to drive donations, those in proximity to the outdoor will receive a text message encouraging them to donate to Women’s Aid.

It’s very challenging to get the general public to confront an uncomfortable issue. It’s difficult to get people to think about men’s violence against their intimate partners in a fresh way, one that might move them to action: we feel like we know about it already, and don’t need to hear anything more. This billboard campaign overcomes the barriers.

I love it when we can use technology in the service of an insight, when it’s not just gratuitous bells & whistles and “gee whiz, look what we can do.”

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